tv Inside Story Al Jazeera June 1, 2014 3:30pm-4:01pm EDT
>> we do know some of you don't ride bikes, and it's okay. >> aka, the biker dudes and dudettes. when you rod wrote into hailey -- rode in to hailey and con vayed that we were not alone, that was really good for our souls. and we will never be able to thank you enough. just amazing. and your day will come when we can do that for bowe as well. we are just all going to have to be patient. so begin with that group that day, the people in hailey, the wood river alley, you know, the little town in idaho that was suddenly on the map and then expanding from that in the magic valley and the treasurer valley and all of idaho, just amazing.
and we are so much like afghanistan, i wish i could write a book about that. our character is a lot alike. the mountain, desert environment breeds tough people, people who are on a farm making a living. it's hard, it makes you tough. if it doesn't kill you, it makes you tougher. and we are just so spreechati * preachative in idaho. huge support. become owe has millions of people around the world who are supporting him. my twitter friends, my intelligence network, my analysis network, my language
specialists, the people who fed me stuff i would otherwise miss, i hope i get to meet some of you. it's a virtual community. it was so important to me. it kept me informed on stuff beyond my wildest dreams once it started to kick in. so thank you. i don't want to go into the big thank yous of, you know, every agency and department of the american government. we have tried to do that in the appropriate places but you, as the american people, should know that should this ever happen to you, you will see parts of your government that you never knew were there. and you will be so thankful for people like dock poppip and
these people that come to your side. particularly for our family, major kevin hickey in the middle here who is our casualty assistance officer, basically our right arm. he is our travel agent, our personal secretary, our personal antiby accurate machine, the officer that had the skills and capabilities to take on what we call the colossas eventually because we were just overwhelmed with the scope of this and the longer it went, the harder it got. so major hickey, i don't know what we would have done without you. colonel marksano came to our side and helped us understand
what was happening in the media and how news cycles work and just gave us an understanding of what to do. you don't know what to do. you are overwhelmed. so thank you. the idaho national guard, the facilities that we had to travel to for secure briefings and the fact that you were there and so graciously willing to help, being led by the govern at the top and general sayler. they are here right. general goodell, thanks, guys. we felt like we were a family.
and we didn't have to travel to washington every time we needed a briefing because we could come here. govern bush otter, we knew they were there and we knew if we needed anything they would continue to be there as unwavering support. now, i want to talk about the future, starting right now. so, the recovery and reintegration of bowe bergdahl is a work in progress. i want to really convey that because it is isn't over for us. in many ways, it's just beginning for jani and i and our family.
there is a long process here so, i am asking our friends and our community and the media to be patient and to be respectful. please recognize that we are still on a mission. we are still on recovery mode, ourselves. let alone concern about how bowe is going to come back and what we need to work on. reintegration after this long must be cable planned. much is depend event upon our family being unrestricted and focused on bowe's recovery. some day, some day there will be a time for interviews and books and whatever. i have a lot to say about this. i know bowe is going to have a
lot to say about this. but that's -- that's still a distant future thing. and i won't let things get in the way of thobowe's roark. >> that's about all we want to say. i've seen some of your questions from the media. once we go down that road, you know, we might as well have a two-hour press conference. but we are going to move on to the next phase. we are going to go get some sleep. we are going to rally our families. and we are going to check with our people, and we are going to do the next step of the phase. so this is the way it's done. there is nothing wrong here. this is the way it works. and we appreciate you being here.
we brief being back in idaho, and we look forward to more interaction in the future. so thank you very much. [applause.] >> jani and bob bergdahl offering a few words for coming. let's continue listening in to military official in boise, idaho. >> thank you. it looks like the press conference is wrapping up here. once again, that was jani and bob bergdahl offering words of encouragement to their son. they said they haven't spoken yet because they had the reintegration process to go a little bit more smoothly for their son who has been away during a difficult time for five years now. kind of echoing the words jani echoed the words of president obama yesterday saying this is certainly a gray day.
let's go to alan shaufller outside the press conference. it certainly was an emotional press conference, alan. >> absolutely thomas, we were expecting, wern he would told that the bergdahls might come out and speak for five minutes or so and run through some questions from the press. they were up on the podium for about 20 minutes. both jani and bob bergdahl speaking from the heart, speaking through tears, interestingly speaking directly to bowe bergdahl. they clearly assigned and understood that at some point very soon in his recovery process, he will see a copy of this press conference, both of them saying, we love you. we are proud of you. trust the people you are with. trust them in the recovery process. and, also, both of them making a point that the recovery process could be a long and difficult thing for this young man who has been held in circumstances which we don't fully understand at
this point, probably in pakistan for the last half a decade or so. so, both of them reiterating to him, trust the folks you are with, and we understand that this could take a very long time. bob bergdahl, in fact, saying: we are still on a mission. in fact, a mission that begins right now, a mission of a different kind, but we are still on a mission. also, just determined not to have much interaction with the press, to try to deflect our interests, our attention for as long as it takes so that the family and the community can focus on getting bowe bergdahl recovered and reintegrated, both of them, both of the bergdahl's acknowledging that could take time and will be a difficult job. bowe bergdahl, in germany. we expect him to be in san antonio at a medical facility sometime this week. we just don't have a firm timeline on that. those were his parents speaking from the heart to their son,
very interesting 20 minutes. >> saying "i love you" several times. alan swiveler. stand by. we will take a quick break. our continuing coverage continues in just a moment. stay with us. the way people look at news. >> we just don't parachute in on a story...quickly talk to a couple of experts and leave... >> one producer may spend 3 or 4 months, digging into a single story... >> at al jazeera, there are resources to alow us as journalists to go in depth and produce the kind of films... the people that you don't see anywhere else on television. >> we intend to reach out to the people who aren't being heard. >>we wanna see the people who are actually effected by the news of the day... >> it's digging deeper
it's asking that second, that third question, finding that person no one spoken to yet... >> you can't tell the stories of the people if you don't get their voices out there, and al jazeera america is doing just that. welcome back. a moment ago, sergeant bogosian's father spoke in english and in pashtu, a language of afghantan >> bowe, i love you. i am your father. [speaking pastu" i have written to you over and over. [speaking pashtu". >> can you speak english still? i would write him. but now, i hope that when you hear this and when you are ready to hear this and when you see this, i hope your english is coming back. i want you to know that i love you. >> bon bergdahl, the father of sergeant bowe bergdahl. our randall pinkston has been
standing buy in washington. randall, your reaction. >> what struck me right off the bat is that the father, bob bergdahl said that they had not yet spoken to their son. now, i spoke on background yesterday with the department of defense official who told me shortly after bergdahl was rescued by the special ops soldiers in afghanistan that it was the understanding that he would either speak to his parents on the phone or through a video link even as he was beginning his initial debriefing. apparently that did not happen, has not happened. of course we now know that sergeantbe bergdahl is at germa at a medical facility there where debriefing and decompressing are continuing. now, the debriefing process, we are told, there is no time line on it. so, he could be there a few days. he could be there a week. he could be there longer. we really don't know. and i was also told that it was
up likely that bergdahl would be reunited with his parents before he returned, that is to say sergeant bergdahl was returned to texas because i asked specifically whether the parents might be traveling to germany to reunite with him there and the defense department official on background said, unlikely, that it would be more likely that the parents would reunite with him when he gets to texas. so we don't know when he will reach texas. his father saying that beau has been down so long, the father's words, down so long it's going to be very difficult for him to come back and then he gave the metaphor of a diver who has been deep under water and having to come up slowly to expel the nitrogen from his system. the father we want on to say if you come up too fast >> you die. hopefully, they are not going to be any long running implications from bergdahl's captivity over the past five years but of course, you read books about prisoners of war. you talk to them and you know that that is a life-altering
experience. so we will just have to wait and see how things turn out for sarnl event borroweringberg, the last p o w. of the afghan war. >> you can only imagine after five years, you hear about post-traumatic stress disorder. this is such a difficult time. it's a joyous decision. there is plenty of criticism. what has the white house reaction and the reaction been? >> the criticism is come from republicans at this juncture who are accusing the add miles per hourstration of violating the law by failing to notify congress, failing to have the secretary of defense notify congress 30 days in advance of the transfer of any detapees out of guantanamo. the holding facility in cuba. now, the explanation that is given for defense secretary hagel not untiling congress 30 days in advance is because this opportunity to free sarnl event
bergdahl occurred quickly. it required quick action. it required that things be done very, very quietly, in secrecy. the add miles per hourstration says that they didn't even tell the government of afghanistan that this swap was taking place. so -- and, furthermore, that the president at the time that he signed the leanlylation signed a separate -- a side letter indicating that in instances of national security, under the separation of powers, the commander in chief has the authority and the right and the responsibility of making decisions in the moment and then letting congress know about them after the fact, which has happened more than once in recent history and in past history. so as far as the add miles per hourstration is concerned, there were no laws violated here they were not negotiating with terrorists, trying to get the release of a prisoner of war. there have been prisoner of war swaps as our analyst indicated for decades, for centuries for
that matter. >> all right. randall pinkston joining us from washington. randall stand by for just a moment. i want to go to alan shaufller outside the press conference in boise, idaho. alan? >> thomas, extraordinary couple of minutes, 20 minutes or so that we all got to spend with jani and bob bergdahl as they expressed their love, their pride for that son and what he has been through and what he has ahead. they talked about the tremendous support here in the state of idaho and the wood river alley and beyond around the world. bob bergdahl saying he didn't have time to thank everybody because that would be millions. we want to introduce you to one member who can represent some of that support, and this is lance stevenson. step on, lance. thanks for taking the time. we appreciate it. you are with a club, a motorcycle club, pow-mia corporation of boise valley. this is the kind of group that showedtre support from bowe
bergdahl from the beginning that you this. >> absolutely. we were there from the start, right after it happened, we all got together. we had over 500 motorcycles come out to hailey and just show support for the bergdahls. we didn't want them to think they were in this alone. some of of our members had done this before. they have dealt with mias and pows and so we had some experience. we wanted to give them everything we could. >> your impression as you watched jani and bob through tears, very emotional statements, talk directly to their son. >> i have been in their position. we waited to get my father home, but for them to be able to welcome home their son, and i can't imagine that they have to wait even a little bit longer. onger.
there. it's been a long time. the fact that the bergdahles have been a great representation of their family and did a great job keeping it together in a difficult situation. >> it's been a tough road. there was controversy at the beginning about the circumstances surrounding bowe bergdahl leaving the base, controversy in terms of the deal made, the way it went down, political yapping going on at this point. your sense or take of what the folks in idaho say about those controversies at this point. >> i hope they let this happen and him come home and get his feet on the ground. there's a lot we have to find outlet that will happen. the young man needs or support.
if there's things that will happen, that will take place. i'm not worried about - i worry about the young man getting back, getting his feet under him and feeling good about getting here. no matter who else happiness, that'll be done by the military. there's questions that have to be ask and and and we go from there. it's to jump on board with something we know what is going to happen is premature. that's not what today is about. >> his support at home, if that's not a sign of what will happen - he has support at home. hayley is draped in ribbons. >> rightly so. it's the combination of the all the efforts by the military and the government, to let the guys know once we send them over here, we'll bring them back.
let's get the young man home to his family and we'll go from there. >> lance stevenson there. can you give us a sense of what bowe's life was like in idaho, in his home down? . >> reporter: well, he was homeschooled as we understand. he wasn't inquisitive young man, well read, widely read, interested in the outdoors, curious about survival techniques - fishing, hunting, hiking, et cetera, and seemed to have a facility for language and a hunger to learn about other cultures. he was a fence are, took up fencing. he knot involved with the local ballet, because someone realised he was a big beefy dude, might be able to throw the ballet dancers in the air. joined the troupe, loved that, a
very sensitive loved youngian. >> allen schauffler in idaho. thank you. i'll go to our international averages contributor. juan, good to see you. your thoughts on the press conference? >> it was a poignant moment. it recalls the past moments when war grinds to a halt and we get the p.o.w.s out. we talked about the criticism, it's ongoing. your thoughts on the republican criticism over the exchange of the five top taliban leaders. >> well, i think the concerns of the republican representatives about the release of the taliban commanders are reasonable coninspectors. i think the -- concerns. i think the administration indicated that the government has given undertakings that the individuals will not return to
the battlefield. i presume their passports will be taken away from them when they get to doha. i think the concerns can be met. the concerns about negotiating with terrorists, items it's rhetorical. you have to negotiate with the guerilla army you are fighting. this is no different to what was done with the viet cong in vietnam or shiite rebels in iran. if if was good enough for ronald regan, i can't understand why it's not good enough for the republican on the hill. would you consider this as the taliban softening its hard line? >> every time you have a success of the negotiation with a guerilla group, it's a good sign, is a sign that they are realistic. that they have goals that they know can achieved.
the pros of negotiation will establish relationships which may be important going on in the future. i think this is a significant moment not just for the united states and the bergdahl family, but possibly for the taliban in afghanistan and pakistan. >> i want to be clear, does the united states consider the tal an a terrorist -- taliban a terrorist organization. >> well, the particular group is listed as a talibani organisation, and so is hezbollah in lebanon which held captives in the '80s, and we negotiated with them. >> moving forward, do you see any fallout from this decision? >> i think the release of the p.o.w. bowe bergdahl will be so popular with the american
public, that playing politics with it, which is distasteful, is a little unlikely to succeed. >> i'll get your final thought before we take a quick break. >> i think the united states public should be aware that the afghanistan war is the longest war we thought. it is winding down. we'll be out of that country in two years. new politics is going to have to emerge. the last time things fell into chaos, it was bad for the united states, eventuting in 9/11. i think the united states is doing the right thing to stand up an afghan army, and to clamp down the radicalism. >> thank you. that will do it for this hour. i'll be back in a couple of minutes with a recap. stay with us.
hello, welcome. this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm thomas drayton. let's get you caught up on the top stories. the freedom of sergeant bowe bergdahl. >> you are free. i'm see you soon. >> the family speaks out after the release of their son, five years after being a prisoner in afghanistan. who are the men released in exchange? we hear from one of